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John Ward

1 portrait of John Ward

John Ward, by Joseph Samuel Webster, circa 1755-1758 -NPG 590 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

John Ward

by Joseph Samuel Webster
circa 1755-1758
23 1/2 in. x 18 3/4 in. (597 mm x 476 mm)
NPG 590

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed on the back of the second canvas, in a late eighteenth century hand: Johannes Wardus juris utriusque doctor/Rhetoricus Professor Greshamensis/Regal. et Antiquar. Societat. Londini Sodalis/Et Musei Britannici Curator I ob. 17 oct. 1758, aet. 79 [1]

1) Sir George Scharf, Historical and Descriptive Catalogue of the Pictures, Busts & etc. in the National Portrait Gallery, new and enlarged edition, 1888, p 457, gives only the last line of this inscription.

This portraitback to top

On stylistic grounds, it is possible that NPG 590 was not taken from life, but the painter has not been identified. If not from life, the source could be the Ramsay (see All Known Portraits). The sitter has a fairly aged appearance.

Physical descriptionback to top

Blue eyes, light brown eyebrows, cleft chin, grey wig, fresh complexion; dark grey coat, white cravat; yellowish grey background shading to dark grey green.

Conservationback to top

Slight losses along edges. The painting has not been relined, but the original canvas has been laid over a second canvas, surface cleaned and varnished 1879, 1895.

Provenanceback to top

Transferred 1879 from the British Museum, to whom it had been presented by Thomas Hollis (1720-74), a pupil of the sitter. [1]

1) The statement in the Dictionary of National Biography, XX, p 778, that an anonymous portrait is in the NPG as well as in the British Museum appears to be a confusion.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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